Because I wanted to figure out what I’d need to do to run as an Independent in Montana.
So far I’ve figured out that I need a lot of signatures, maybe as many as 129.
That’s what Ballotpedia says about running as an Independent in Montana.
Really, though, it depends on the turnout in the last general election. I’m not sure what that is exactly and I want an official number from the officials.
One thing that helps is the Secretary of State’s Filing Information page.
That’s where you can find forms for signatures and a bit more.
You have until May 31 to submit your signatures for the 2016 election, which is just a few days before the primaries.
Considering Independents don’t have to worry about primaries, this is a benefit.
Another nice thing is that you get this cool list of all the Montana legislative races from 2014.
That lets you know how many signatures you need for 2016:
So if I wanted to run in House District 99, I’d need 135 signatures.
If I wanted to run in HD 98 again, I’d need 114 signatures.
The worst district to run in as an Independent would be HD 37, as it requires 182 signatures, the most of any district in the state.
The easiest district would be HD 15, with only 53 signatures required.
So…how do I get those signatures?
Mainly, you ask people.
It’s not quite that simple, however. Nope – you need people living in your district to sign.
And what the hell do they sign, anyways?
These are some tough questions, so I sent the following email and questions to the Secretary of State:
I'm interested in running for the Montana House as an Independent from Missoula and have some questions:
I was lucky enough to have Elections Specialist Alan Miller contact me and tell me what is what.
What is a qualified signature?
In order to be counted, a signature must be from a registered voter in the district in which you are running.
What are the number of signatures that I need?
Specific signature requirements are at http://sos.mt.gov/Elections/Officials/Forms/documents/Independent-Minor-Party-Indigent-Candidate-Info.pdf; (Page 3)
Do the signatures have to come from the district I'm running in or can they come from other Missoula districts?
They must come from the district in which a candidate is running, see below.
13-10-502. Signature requirements for petition. (1) The petition for nomination must be signed by electors residing within the state and district or political subdivision in which the officer or officers are to be elected. …
If I change districts before March 14, do I need to get new signatures?
If a candidate changes the district for which the candidate is gathering signatures, the candidate will need to gather new signatures from registered voters in the new district.
When do I need the signatures in?
The deadline to submit signed petitions and affidavits of signature gatherers to county election administrators is May 31, 2016, and the deadline to file the Declaration and Oath of Candidacy, and pay the filing fee is June 6, 2016.
Is there a special form I need to use for the signatures?
Yes – please see the form at:
The petition must contain the same information and the oath of the candidate required for a declaration for nomination – the information and oath required appears on the front side of the form. An Affidavit of Signature Gatherer form must be submitted with the Declaration and Oath.
So you want me to print out about 15 of page 2 for signatures?
Since the petition must contain the same information as the declaration for nomination, the declaration for nomination appears on the front side of the form.
Certain information necessary to identify the candidate to potential signers appears on the petition face, such as the candidate name and whether the candidate is filing as an independent and/or indigent candidate, as well as the Warning, etc.
Therefore, there is room on the petition for 10 signature lines. That said, an independent candidate could print out just the front side of the form (the declaration for nomination) as one sheet of paper, and then print 8 double-sided sheets of the petition, with 10 signature lines on both sides, as long as the declaration and double-sided petitions were attached together.
That way, it would only be necessary to print 9 sheets (although we recommend gathering extra signatures in case certain signers’ signatures are not accepted due to not being registered, etc.).
It’s not supposed to be – the Democrats and Republicans can both agree on that.
Hell, they made it that way.
And for good reason – both parties are shit.
They’re the shit you find on your shoe after walking in a field in rural Montana.
I particularly like the Democrats in Montana right now, decrying dark and PAC money so long as it’s not that raised by Bullock.
Republicans are just as bad, though at least with them they just come right out and say that they’re bigoted and racist and homophobic and unapologetic ass-kissers of the rich.
Meanwhile, you and your family continue to slide further into oblivion, the American Dream long gone and your kids already told their lives will be worse than yours.
That’s what Democrats and Republicans get you.
So run as an Independent and tell those two groups to go fuck themselves.
That actually might make a good sign – Dems and GOPers, go fuck yourselves!
I’d put it right here by the Albertson’s door. I figure that’s the best place to gather signatures.
Anyways, you have 4 months to gather them.
You can do it.